As well as all the emotional and physical benefits, babywearing is a practical way to help settle your newborn and give you your hands back to get on with everything else.
But what if you have not one baby, but two?! Is it even possible to get your hands free when you have twins? The great news is that, yes, it is totally possible for one parent to use slings or carriers to carry both twins, even from newborn.
Here’s our checklist of the most important things to consider when babywearing twins.
Low birth weight
Many carriers are only tested and suitable for babies weighing from 7-8 lbs. Many twins are born under this weight with very few brands designed for smaller babies so your safe carrying options are limited.
Wraps are always a possibility as you can tighten them to fit even the smallest of babies, and some brands are recommended from 5-6 lbs. More adjustable soft carriers like the Close Caboo, tie-on Meh Dais or the Izmi® Carrier can also adjust small enough to be suitable for lower birth weight babies.
Do I really need to carry both babies at the same time?
You may have no choice! Most babies like to be held a lot of the time, and you’ll be lifting and carrying your babies whether or not you use a sling or carrier to do it. But if you don’t need to be completely hands free, then you don’t have to use a hands free twin carry. Instead just use one sling to secure one baby on your front or side, and leave you a free arm and shoulder to support the other twin as needed.
How easy will it be?
Having twins is hard work and you’ll be surviving on so little sleep that you need a really easy, quick babywearing solution. Whilst they seem daunting, stretchy wraps like the Izmi® Wrap are easily tied (much easier than they look!) and once fastened, can be left on all day like clothes – no need to untie each time you take your babies in and out.
If possible, try out some suitable wraps and carriers whilst you’re still pregnant. It’ll give you an idea of what you find easy, and the more practice you get in advance, the less thinking you’ll need to do once your babies arrive!
Won’t twins be too heavy to carry?
As long as your sling or carrier is properly adjusted to fit you all, and to distribute the weight comfortably, then two babies are unlikely to be too heavy to carry. However, with growing twins carried on your front or hips, it quickly gets impractical to reach around them to get stuff done. Once your babies can sit, you could try carrying one on the back and one on the front. This is a well balanced way to carry their weight, and leaves you with your arms and hands completely free!
Do I need a “Twin Carrier”?
Twin carriers are specially designed for carrying two babies. These can be great if they fit you and your babies, but one size does not fit all. Twin-specific carriers may also offer limited options for positioning your babies and you don’t need a “Twin Carrier” to be hands free with twins.
Instead you could buy two different “single baby” slings or carriers that can be combined in a more flexible way to suit the whole family. Wraps are very adaptable as one wrap can be used to carry one or two babies on the front or one on each side. Or you could use two different multi-position carriers to allow one parent to carry both babies, or so that each parent can carry one twin using their own preferred carrier.
If you’re in any doubt or discomfort when babywearing your twins, find your local Sling Library or Carrying Consultant and ask for some expert advice. Sometimes the smallest tweaks or tips can make all the difference for getting you feeling safe, comfortable and hands free!